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Random Awesomeness (part 2019.4)

Random Awesomeness

What I’m Reading Right Now: Firefight: The Reckoners, Book Two by Brandon Sanderson.

Purchase the debut album from The End Machine!
(The End Machine features classic-era Dokken members George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, and Mick Brown, with current Warrant vocalist Robert Mason behind the microphone.)

Inspirational Hits from MLB’s Best: Dugout Devotions by Del Duduit (2019)

Dugout Devotions

Inspirational Hits from MLB’s Best: Dugout Devotions
Del Duduit
148 pages
Iron Stream Books, 2019

Baseball’s regular season is right around the corner, and no other sport seems to lend itself to spiritual applications than America’s pastime. In this collection of thirty devotionals, Del Duduit and others collect stories from the diamond and relate them to one’s faith journey. The devotions are encouraging, and many of them would work well as illustrations in sermons.

Like any book, there are positive and negative aspects in Dugout Devotions. There is a proper emphasis on the importance of relying on the Word rather than just feelings (2 Timothy 3:16-17). However, there is the contradictory mention of a player who thought the Lord “tapped…him on the shoulder.” In another place, a devotional makes reference to the reader “really feel(ing) God calling you to go on (a mission) trip,” and another talks of a player “receiv(ing) a divine call” about human trafficking.

Many of the entries end with a section called “Step Up To The Plate,” offering suggestions how one might apply the lessons from the devotion. Bible study, prayer, and attendance to worship services are often among the recommendations.

While there are several devotions that discuss a player’s decision to give his life to Christ, there is no mention of how that is done. When one reads the book of Acts and the epistles, the conversion process is on display: one becomes a Christian by hearing the gospel (Romans 10:17), believing it (Romans 10:9-10), repenting of sin (Acts 3:19), confessing one’s belief (Acts 8:37), and being immersed for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). With so much confusion in the religious world, it would be prudent to include such information in any religious book. One cannot decide for himself how he comes to God; only God can tell us how to do that, and He does tell us in His Word.

For readers who are grounded in the truth, these devotions can be encouraging. One must always be careful, though, regardless of the writer, to consistently verify what man writes with what God has revealed. There are a lot of people with good intentions that will end up on the wrong team in eternity because they trusted in man without turning to God’s Word (Matthew 7:13-23).

The writers of the devotions are Del Duduit, Michelle Medlock Adams, Ryan Farr, Beckie Lindsey, Scott McCausey, Clint Rutledge, and Cyle Young. The major leaguer players, coaches, and executives featured are Brian Dozier, Albert Pujols, Ben Zobrist, Clayton Kershaw, Francisco Lindor, Aaron Judge, Andrew McCutchen, Andy Pettitte, Michael Lorenzen, Tony Graffanino, R.A. Dickey, Mike Sarbaugh, Adam Wainwright, Cody Allen, Jim Morris, Mike Matheny, Blaine Boyer, Mike Rikard, Tim Martin, Matt Carpenter, and Adam Frazier.

Click here to purchase Dugout Devotions by Del Duduit.

Chris Broussard stands up for the Bible

Late Monday morning, an NBA player named Jason Collins announced to the world that he is a homosexual. It is difficult to say that we didn’t see this coming—not from Collins specifically (I don’t follow basketball at all), but from someone in one of the major sports. I read numerous editorials over the past few weeks about open homosexuality in the sports world, with many columnists attempting to equate or at least relate that lifestyle to one’s skin color.

Late Monday morning, Collins “came out of the closet” and was met with mostly positive and supportive remarks from fellow NBA players, professionals in other sports, broadcasters and sportswriters.

Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Tracy McGrady and Magic Johnson were among the NBA players past and present that Tweeted their support. Heavyweights from other sports such as Evander Holyfield, Barry Sanders, David Wright, and Martina Navratilova also expressed their admiration for his courage. Even former President Bill Clinton said, “I’m proud to call Jason Collins a friend.”

One NBA analyst’s reaction to Collins’ announcement, however, has been scrutinized more than others for his seemingly negative stance. On the ESPN program “Outside The Lines,” Chris Broussard said (as transcribed by Ben Golliver of BlazersEdge and Sports Illustrated):

I’m a Christian. I don’t agree with homosexuality. I think it’s a sin, as I think all sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is. [ESPN’s] L.Z. [Granderson] knows that. He and I have played on basketball teams together for several years. We’ve gone out, had lunch together, we’ve had good conversations, good laughs together. He knows where I stand and I know where he stands. I don’t criticize him, he doesn’t criticize me, and call me a bigot, call me ignorant, call me intolerant.

In talking to some people around the league, there’s a lot Christians in the NBA and just because they disagree with that lifestyle, they don’t want to be called bigoted and intolerant and things like that. That’s what LZ was getting at. Just like I may tolerate someone whose lifestyle I disagree with, he can tolerate my beliefs. He disagrees with my beliefs and my lifestyle but true tolerance and acceptance is being able to handle that as mature adults and not criticize each other and call each other names.

… Personally, I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly premarital sex between heterosexuals, if you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says you know them by their fruits, it says that’s a sin. If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I do not think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian.

In a world that is now openly anti-Christian, Broussard succinctly stated his view without malice toward Collins. He didn’t fire off an inane 140-character Tweet like Miami Dolphins player Mike Wallace. Broussard simply stated what he believes and gave a reason for his belief.

In a world where it is more and more unpopular to publicly state one’s opposition to sin, Broussard should be applauded. In a world that is screaming for more tolerance, where is the tolerance for God?

Mr. Broussard, thank you for using your public voice for the Bible and saying what many will be afraid to say in the coming days and weeks.

Does God exist?

(the edge got cut off, but all the pertinent information is there…go to to watch this debate live as it happens)

Starting a new blog

The Writer’s Journey is my personal blog that I use to talk about my hobbies, sports, and music.

I don’t really consider religion a hobby, and so I decided to start a new blog. It is called “Not As I Will, But As Thou Wilt.” There isn’t a lot there yet, but I plan to spend quite a bit of time sharing thoughts there as it relates to Christianity. You are welcome to check it out, and I would be happy to discuss anything I post there further with you, if you have any questions or need clarification.

I intend to continue posting here too, though, so don’t delete TWJ from your blogrolls! 🙂

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